My Perfumed Garden
Make the most of your garden
Yippee! - It's getting to that time of year again when we can think of going out into the garden - and a long time coming, I know.
Anyway, it ocurred to me that one of the nicest things about the Spring and getting outside is the scent of a flower so I thought I would give some advice for anyone thinking of doing their planting now.
Here are some of my favourite plants for scent.
Night Scented Stock
Wow - I planted some of these in pots on my patio last year and the smell on an evening was divine. I would thoroughly recommend them. They are easy to grow from seed, they look pleasant - not brilliant but sort of cutish - and can be grown in containers or in the garden.Plant the seeds in Spring and enjoy watching them grow.
In at number 2 and for a good reason - I love this smell - the essential oil is incredibly relaxing - again, great in pots on the patio, snap a flower off and breath in the scent while chilling - nice! Loads of varieties - experiment with different ones. - When the flowers have died off collect the seeds and make little bags to put in your drawers. The plants can be pruned right back for next season, when they get too leggy buy new plants.
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - yep, probably true, but choose your rose carefully, unfortunately the quest to breed disease-free roses has meant that many do not have as much fragrance as the older varieties. So whether it's a floribunda, a climber, a hybrid tea or even a patio rose, do some research and get one to enhance the fragrance of your garden.
These shrubs can grow up to 15 feet (450cm) and there are climbing varieties. Not all varieties are scented but choose the right one and you will get a beautiful fragrance which is used as a relaxant and also an aphrodisiac (if you can stay awake!)
Mint - yeah, mint! Ordinary mint is easy to grow but it's invasive so put it in a bucket or something. Superb with new potatoes, snap some of the leaves off and rub them in your fingers - lovely - good to ease headaches too. There are lots of variations. Apple, lemon, pineapple and chocolate to name but a few. Why not get a herb planter and grow exotic mints, lemon balm, basil (a member of the mint family) etc. Relax on an evening with a Pimms or mint julep while you're waiting for your lamb and rosemary to cook?
I got carried away there thinking of all the lovely combinations of food and herbs - maybe that's another project. Back to plants.
The aroma varies between varieties, so do the colours, height and habit. Many grown as climbers but there are varieties which can be grown in containers, with or without support. They make excellent cut flowers in small vases.
I have mentioned a few of my favourites - I hope it has given you some ideas. I would love to hear what your favourites are.
Best wishes - Max